It is a pleasure to see the rerelease of Paul Beier's first effort on the Baroque Lute, recorded in a small church in Switzerland nearly twenty years ago. He had originally planned a program that included the works presented here, plus the suite in E minor by Bach, but after editing we found that the total time of the recording was over 90 minutes, and so sacrificed the Bach suite to be able to release the CD (which can hold no more than 80 minutes worth of music).
Certain minds would be willing in sacrifice their lives in striving towards the only crucially, worthy, good thing: The knowledge about the secrets and reasons of existence. Their coded activities extend through the centuries - from antiquity to modern times, and in this way pass on and preserve means, knowledge and realization. Only the point of view is variable, not truth itself.
Composed by Klaus Back & Tini Beier.
Italian violinist Guiliano Carmignola has a crisp, sharp style that can do wonderful things in High Baroque repertory. In Classical-period music he is again distinctive, but your mileage may vary. This release harks back to the middle days of historically informed playing, when Baroque groups first began to explore the Classical era (and music beyond). There are no graceful, gentle lines here, no warm, muted colors of mythological figures frolicking in summer sunshine.
Recording after recording, Giuliano Carmignola, Andrea Marcon and the Venice Baroque Orchestra have proven themselves as a winning combination. After previously triumphing in the music of Vivaldi, Carmignola discovers the almost completely forgotten repertoire of the Italian violin concerto, bridging the gap between the Baroque and Classical styles in the mid-18th century. During this time period, violin virtuosi would travel across Europe giving concerts to great acclaim. It is their music that Carmignola performs.
Recordings by solo lutenists have been numerous since the beginning of the 21st century. Cynics would say that in an era of declining government subvention it's cheaper to pay a single lutenist than an orchestra or choir, but it's also true that the lute repertory of the 17th and 18th centuries has historically been undervalued, left to a few specialists, despite the fact that court lutenists were some of the most celebrated and highly paid musicians of the time. This recording deals with a 1667 publication, Delitiae Testudinis (Delights of the Lute), by the little-known Esias Reusner, who was active in the German city of Brieg (now Brzeg, Poland).
If this is the future of Mozart performance practice, the future is secure. The combination of period instrument violinist Giuliano Carmignola and modern instrument conductor Claudio Abbado leading the youthful period instrument Orchestra Mozart produces something new under the sun: a hybrid of both approaches that takes the best from both and creates something fresh and shining. Carmignola, the leader of Venice's Teatro La Fenice and one of Italy's best period violinists, has a focused tone, a lively sense of rhythm, and a wonderful feeling for line and color.
This disc is really something special. Collectors are so spoiled for choice in the baroque repertoire at present, particularly on period instruments, but even in a glutted market this disc stands out for imaginative repertoire selection and outstanding interpretation. Its particularly gratifying, in these days of complete editions of everything, to see a discerning artist like Giuliano Carmignola choose four remarkably diverse works by three different composers, and simply play the living daylights out of them. The result roundly disproves the notion that Italian baroque violin concertos all sound the same, a point made even more forcefully by imaginative continuo work (on harpsichord, lute, and organ) by the Venice Baroque Orchestra that helps to emphasize each pieces individual character. The two Vivaldi concertos, for example, couldnt be more different.
Despite the popularity of works such as The Four Seasons and La Stravaganza, many of Vivaldi’s 250 concertos for violin remain largely unknown. The new recordings of the concertos RV 187 and 281 are based on Vivaldi’s original manuscript scores and capture the thrilling spontaneity of his compositional style. The concerto RV283 also includes a previously unpublished cadenza from the notebook of Vivaldi’s protégé Anna Maria. Very much a man of the 21st Century, Giuliano Carmignola combines his passion for the baroque with his love of motorcycling, which he calls, “Vivaldi con moto - motion and emotion from a MOTOcyclist-musician.”